ST 2653 – Big Dave's Crossword Blog
No comments

ST 2653

Sunday Telegraph Cryptic No 2653

A full review by crypticsue

+ – + – + – + – + – + – + – +

BD Rating – Difficulty **Enjoyment ****

Another Sunday treat –not that difficult but very entertaining.   I have indicated both  definitions and top  favourites.

Please leave a comment telling us what you thought. You can also add your assessment by selecting from one to five stars at the bottom of the post.


1a They can afford middle-of-the-road accident protection (7,7)
TRAFFIC ISLANDS – A cryptic definition of a safe place in the middle of a road.

9a Rule about a learner put in new group (7)
REALIGN   – A verb meaning to group or divide on a new basis –   Insert (about) L for Learner into REIGN (rule).

10a Prosecutor in case tangled with RUC (7)
ACCUSER – An anagram (tangled) of CASE and RUC makes someone prosecuting or bringing a charge.

11a You may see them in Yellowstone National Park, finally (3)
ELK –  The last letters (finally)  of YellowstonE NationaL and ParK make a type of deer related to the moose which might be found there.

12a It’s good, say, to hold down sensation-mongers (6,5)
GUTTER PRESS  – That part of the press which specializes in sensational journalism –  G (good) UTTER (say) and PRESS (hold down).

14a Attach atom, more or less, for a bit of a lark, say (6)
PINION –  The last joint of a bird’s wing, or the outermost flight feather – lark, say­  indicating that we need something relating to a bird, of which lark is an example.   PIN (attach) plus ION (an electrically charged particle formed by loss or gain (more or less) of electrons in an atom).

15a Re-enlist in irregular formation in part of Ireland (8)
LEINSTER –  One of the provinces situated in the east of Ireland is an anagram (in irregular formation) of RE ENLIST.

17a Foreign citizen taking three articles around part of UK (8)
ATHENIAN –  A citizen of the capital city of Greece.    Insert NI (Northern Ireland, part of the UK) into three articles A, THE and AN.

19a  Looking slightly bruised, quite near the knuckle? (6)
BLUISH –  A double definition – looking slightly bruised or being fairly risqué or near the knuckle.

22a Medical treatment for elders, for example? (4,7)
TREE SURGERY –   Treatment for trees such as elders.

23a Home of some Indians in Georgia or Alabama, originally (3)
GOA – This time, we need to take the first letters (originally) of Georgia Or Alabama to get an Indian state.

24a Nice thing to eat on hot day that’s excellent, cold inside (4-3)
CHOC-ICE –  I bet many of these ice creams  were consumed on the very hot day this puzzle was published.   Insert C (cold inside) into CHOICE (excellent) and split the result 4-3.

26a Dangers in attempts to heal outside hospital (7)
THREATS –  Dangers or the appearance of impending evil –  TREATS (attempts to heal) with H (hospital) inserted.

27a Something viewed by many here as what divides us from Europe (7,7)
ENGLISH CHANNEL –  The name of the piece of sea dividing us from France could also describe the sort of television channels we watch.    I did wonder whether, as Virgilius lives in the USA, whether he might also be referring to BBC America, as this is watched by many people ‘here’ too.



1d Exercise using arms in which one repeatedly aims to improve (6,8)
TARGET PRACTICE –  A cryptic definition of repeatedly shooting at a target to improve one’s aim.

2d A large demand put on an American separated from others (7)
ALASKAN – A (from the clue) L (large) ASK (demand) and AN (from the clue).   Someone living in the American State of Alaska would be separated from the rest of the United States, Alaska being situated above Canada.

3d Reasonable justification for places of entertainment (11)
FAIRGROUNDS –  A nice simple charade – FAIR (reasonable) an GROUNDS (justification for)  – a collection of  sideshows providing entertainment.

4d Clever, protecting an old monarch who got wet (6)
CANUTE –   Insert  (protecting) AN (from the clue) into CUTE (clever) to get the King who got his feet wet to prove to his subjects that he was not as all-powerful as his subjects and courtiers believed.

5d Directions on youngster’s examination from which height is determined (3,5)
SEA LEVEL –  SE (South and East, directions) and A-Level (examination  taken by a youngster) split 3, 5 make the mean level of the surface of the sea from which height is measured.

6d A part of circle that’s central? Yes and no (3)
ARC –  Following A from the clue with the central letters of ciRCle gives us part of the circumference of the circle.  The Yes in the clue refers to the fact that you need the central part of circle as part of the wordplay.   The No refers to the fact that the ARC is not in the centre of the circle.

7d Son located in OK lineage (7)
DESCENT – lineage or transmission by succession.  Insert S (son) into DECENT (OK).

8d Practice session players are fully kitted out for (5,9)
DRESS REHEARSAL – A cryptic definition of the final practice session of a play.

13d Part of pitch in which a neat player gets fouled (7,4)
PENALTY AREA –  Part of a football pitch is an anagram (gets fouled) of A NEAT PLAYER.

16d Husband still superficially smooth? (8)
HAIRLESS –  Having no hair on one’s body – H (husband) and AIRLESS (still, stuffy, without wind).

18d He would admit band inside for country dance (7)
HOEDOWN –  a type of country dance, especially a square dance.   HE[‘]D OWN (he would admit) with O inserted (O representing a band or circle).

20d Firmly fix in the middle of menacing rainstorm (7)
INGRAIN – Almost thought we weren’t going to get a hidden word this week but…   Hidden in menacING RAINstorm is a verb meaning to firmly fix or instill a habit deeply.

21d Language football team pronounced differently at first (6)
CELTIC –  Depending on how you sound the first C you get either a type of language or a Scottish football team.

25d Bad state Chicago is in, in short (3)
ILL – The abbreviation for the state in which Chicago is situated can mean ad or harmful.

Thanks to Virgilius for the usual splendid start to Sunday.   Gnomey’s turn to explain Sundays for a couple of weeks while I will be back tomorrow with the first of two weeks’ explanation of the Saturday puzzles.